Honours even in Chisinau

Moldova 1-1 Scotland Steve Thompson takes two minutes to cancel out Serguei Dadu's first-half opener.

Scotland and Moldova both managed their first goals in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying within a two-minute interval, but each remained without a Group 5 win after drawing in Chisinau.

Swift equaliser
Serguei Dadu opened the scoring on 28 minutes for Moldova, who had lost their first three qualifiers, but Steven Thompson swiftly levelled for the visitors. Moldova had much of the play, but Scotland held on to stay one position above their bottom-placed hosts.

Early chances
Having lost at home against Norway on Saturday, Scotland were keen to bounce back and early on Stevie Crawford came close as he went past Serghei Lascencov and sent in a shot that went just over the crossbar. Barry Ferguson then threatened with a strong effort, but it was Moldova who went ahead.

Goals arrive
Dadu collected a cross from Ghenadie Olexicis with his back to goal, turned his marker and shot in. However, Thompson soon equalised as he shot through Eugen Hmaruc's legs after being found in the box by Darren Fletcher.

Gordon saves
Moldova proved the stronger team in the second half, and not long after the interval Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon did well to turn Dadu's volley round the post. Serghei Covalciuc and Iulian Bursuc both shot wide, while Scotland's best effort was a long-range Colin Cameron shot stopped by Hmaruc.

Dadu efforts
Dadu was a constant danger, and he headed over on 74 minutes and soon after sent in a free-kick that was kept out of the net by Gordon. Late on Crawford and substitute Lee McCulloch were both denied by Hmaruc, but there was to be no winning goal.

March fixtures
Scotland, with two draws and a defeat from their three games so far, are seven points adrift of leaders Italy, whom they visit in the first Group 5 match of 2005 on 26 March. Four days later, Moldova welcome second-placed Norway.

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